1960s 1970s BBC Thirty-Minute Theatre Writers

Rediscovering the Half-Hour Play: Early Work by Well-Known Writers

The Forgotten Television Drama season, ‘Rediscovering the Half-Hour Play’, continues at BFI Southbank on Sunday 7 May 2023 with a session looking at early work by three writers who went on to produce landmark television drama: John Mortimer, Dennis Potter and Andrew Davies. As with directors, producers and script editors the half-hour play provided a […]

1960s 1970s 1980s Actors Directors Half-Hour Play Writers

Forgotten Television Drama – Rediscovering the Half-Hour Play

We are pleased to announce a new season of Forgotten Television Drama at BFI Soutbank in May 2023. Curated by Lez Cooke this new season, the first since Forgotten Black TV Drama in 2019, provides an opportunity to rediscover a lost form of TV drama: the half-hour television play. Once prevalent on British television, the […]

1960s Billy Smart Drama She Wrote Fay Weldon Writers

‘Women in TV’ by Fay Weldon (1931-2023)

Fay Weldon, who died on Wednesday, was an exceptionally prolific writer of television drama up until the end of the last century. Two programmes have regularly been mentioned in the coverage of her life – her work on Upstairs, Downstairs (LWT/ ITV 1971-75), including writing the first episode, and her sensational serial adaptation of her […]

Granada Television Obituary Writers

John Finch (1925-2022)

John Finch, who died on 13 February, the day after his 97th birthday, was one of the last survivors of the first generation of Granada Television writers who helped to establish the company as the most progressive of the original ‘Big Four’ ITV companies that launched in 1955-56. While Associated-Rediffusion, ATV and ABC Television were […]

Producers Tony Garnett Troy Kennedy Martin Writers

Tony Garnett on Troy Kennedy Martin

On 18 March 2004 I interviewed Tony Garnett for a book I was researching about the screenwriter Troy Kennedy Martin.[1] The interview began with Garnett talking about his debut as a television actor in Kennedy Martin’s first television play, Incident at Echo Six (1958) and his role as a young tearaway in one of Kennedy […]

1970s BBC John Hopkins Play For Today Writers

Play for Today: A Story to Frighten the Children

By Simon Farquhar Written by John Hopkins, directed by Herbert Wise and produced by Graeme McDonald. Broadcast on BBC1 at 9.25pm on Tuesday 3 February 1976 On a good day, no television playwright could churn up emotional nausea quite as mercilessly as John Hopkins. Originally a floor manager at Granada television, in 1957 his life […]

1970s BBC drama John Harvey-Flint Play For Today Writers

Play for Today: Edward G – Like the Film Star

by Simon Farquhar Written by John Harvey-Flint, produced by Graeme McDonald and directed by James Ferman. Broadcast at 9.25pm on Monday 11 June 1973. It feels regrettably apt that John Harvey-Flint’s quietly fascinating Play for Today, Edward G – Like the Film Star, has fallen into obscurity, junked shortly after its sole broadcast in 1973. […]

1970s 1980s BBC BBC English Regions Drama Events Irene Shubik Ken Trodd Northern Ireland Peter Ansorge Play For Today Richard Eyre Scotland Tara Prem Writers

Play for Today at 50 : Interviews and Presentations

Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th October 2020 Beginning on BBC1 on Thursday 15 October 1970, and continuing until 1984, Play for Today was one of the most important series ever of British television drama. Running to over 300 individual plays and regularly commanding audiences of several millions, the series won a reputation for artistic experiment […]

1980s BBC drama Carol Bunyan Play For Today Writers

Play for Today: Sorry

by Katie Crosson Written by Carol Bunyan, produced by John Norton and directed by Alistair Clark. Broadcast at 9.25pm on Tuesday 3 March 1981. Carol Bunyan has had a prolific career across theatre and television, but her association with Play for Today is often left out of selections, lists of favourites, commemorations and histories of […]

1970s BBC Play For Today Ted Whitehead Writers

Play for Today: The Peddler

By Simon Farquhar Written by E. A. Whitehead, directed by Claude Whatham, produced by Graeme McDonald. Broadcast on BBC1 at 9.25pm on Tuesday 23 March 1976. Through the BBC Plays Department, the Royal Court and the burgeoning fringe, Britain was thrusting some seriously good writers into the spotlight in the 1970s, and it is telling […]